fog.png
Wednesday May 25th, 2022 12:21PM

Djokovic’s Serb fans on edge as Australia visa hearing looms

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Novak Djokovic’s parents joined a protest rally in downtown Belgrade on Sunday with their tennis-great son still in an Australian immigration detention hotel as fans of Djokovic in Serbia nervously awaited a crucial court hearing which could decide whether he can play at the Australian Open.

The virtual hearing in Melbourne, with Djokovic appealing his visa cancellation, comes amid a growing public debate over his positive coronavirus test that his lawyers used as grounds in applying for a medical exemption to Australia’s strict vaccination rules.

The top-ranked Serb, who hopes to defend his title at the Australian Open and win a men’s record 21st Grand Slam singles title, was denied entry when he arrived at Melbourne’s airport on Wednesday and was awaiting the court hearing to challenge his deportation.

The hearing will take place at 10 a.m. local time Monday (2300 GMT or 6 p.m. EST Sunday) in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.

The Australian Open begins Jan. 17 — just a week from Djokovic's court date.

The case has polarized opinions around the world and elicited heartfelt support for the tennis star in his native Serbia.

“Today is a big day. Today, the whole world will hear the truth," Djokovic's mother, Dijana Djokovic, told the crowd in downtown Belgrade.

"We hope that Novak will come out as a free man. We send great love to Novak. We believe in him, but also in the independent judiciary in Melbourne,” she said.

Djokovic’s father, Srdjan Djokovic, said “this is happening because we are only a small part of the world, but we are proud people.

“They can’t break us. Novak is the personification of freedom, everything human that one man contains in himself. Shame on them!”

Dijana Djokovic said that the conditions in the hotel in Melbourne where Djokovic is staying are “not humane.”

“He doesn’t even have breakfast,” she said. “He has a wall to stare at and he can’t even see a park in front or go out of the room.”

Australian officials initially said Djokovic, a vocal skeptic of vaccines who has refused to say if he has gotten the COVID-19 shot, would be given an exemption to stringent vaccine rules by state authorities and be able to participate in the Australian Open. But when he landed, his visa was canceled by federal border officials.

The exemption request said Djokovic’s first positive test was Dec. 16 and, on the date of issue, it said the 34-year-old player “had not had a fever or respiratory symptoms in the past 72 hours.”

Social media is swamped with questions over Djokovic’s whereabouts after the alleged positive COVID-19 test amid a surge of the pandemic.

Djokovic attended two public events on Dec. 16 in Belgrade, as well as a Dec. 17 event in the Serbian capital honoring young tennis players. The event was covered by local media, and parents posted photos on social media showing Djokovic and the children not wearing masks. It’s not clear if Djokovic knew the results of his test at the time.

Days later he was shown playing tennis in a park in front of his apartment in Belgrade.

“Legally, Djokovic doesn’t have to explain what happened (after his positive test) but it would be very good for his reputation here and the whole world,” Sasa Ozmo, a Serbian sports journalist, told the N1 television.

___

More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Tennis, AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Sports - Men's Tennis
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Titans clinch AFC's top seed with 28-25 win over Texans
The Tennessee Titans clinched the top seed in the AFC for the first time in 14 years, beating the Houston Texans 28-25 on Sunday behind Ryan Tannehill’s career-high-tying four touchdown passes
5:11PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Commissioners to report on CFP expansion talks to presidents
The administrators who manage the College Football Playoff will report on the progress of expansion talks to a presidential oversight committee on Monday
4:51PM ( 35 minutes ago )
Roethlisberger, Steelers on verge of playoffs after OT win
Ben Roethlisberger delayed his retirement for a few hours and probably longer, guiding Pittsburgh to a 16-13 overtime win over the Baltimore Ravens that left the Steelers on the verge of an improbable playoff berth
4:50PM ( 36 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Arsenal out of FA Cup, Liverpool and Tottenham avoid upsets
Arsenal has failed to transfer its improved Premier League form to the FA Cup in losing 1-0 to second-tier Nottingham Forest in the second big shock of the third round
3:27PM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: Falcons owner Blank tests positive for COVID-19
Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank has tested positive for COVID-19 and is not at Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the game against the New Orleans Saints
3:17PM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: Top-seeded Packers sit Rodgers in 2nd half
Green Bay did not start Aaron Rodgers in the second half against Detroit with the Packers already set as the No. 1 seed in the NFC
2:59PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Sports
Maple Leaf rules: Canada wins ATP Cup with win over Spain
Felix Auger-Aliassime has clinched the ATP Cup title for Canada with a 7-6 (3), 6-3 singles victory over Roberto Bautista Agut to give his country an insurmountable 2-0 lead against Spain
8:13AM ( 9 hours ago )
Canada wins ATP Cup with 2-0 win in singles over Spain
Felix Auger-Aliassime has clinched the ATP Cup title for Canada with a 7-6 (3), 6-3 victory over Roberto Bautista Agut to give his country an insurmountable 2-0 lead against Spain
6:19AM ( 11 hours ago )
Will he stay or will he go? Djokovic's hearing looms large
Novak Djokovic will get his day in court Monday in a deportation case that has polarized opinions and elicited heartfelt support for the world No. 1 tennis player in his native Serbia
4:38AM ( 12 hours ago )
AP Online Tennis
Prospects dim as US, Russia prepare to meet over Ukraine
With the fate of Ukraine and potentially broader post-Cold War European stability at stake, the United States and Russia are holding critical strategic talks that could shape the future of not only their relationship but the relationship between the U.S. and its NATO allies
3:40PM ( 1 hour ago )
Death toll in rockfall on Brazilian lake rises to 10
Police in Brazil say the death toll from an accident in which a slab of cliff rock toppled onto pleasure boaters on a Brazilian lake has risen to 10
3:16PM ( 2 hours ago )
Kazakhstan says 164 killed in last week's protests
Kazakhstan’s health ministry says 164 people, including a 4-year-old girl, have been killed in protests in the past week that marked the worst unrest since the former Soviet republic gained independence 30 years ago
2:37PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
Golden Globe Awards carry on, without stars or a telecast
Even though NBC dropped the 2022 Golden Globe Awards, the embattled Hollywood Foreign Press Association is proceeding with its 79th edition Sunday night without a telecast, nominees, celebrity guests, a red carpet, a host, press or even a livestream
11:43AM ( 5 hours ago )
Biden shied away from news conferences, interviews in Year 1
As President Joe Biden wraps up his first year in the White House, he has held fewer news conferences than any of  his five immediate predecessors at the same point in their presidencies
11:33AM ( 5 hours ago )
Kazakhstan says 164 killed in week of protests
Kazakhstan’s health ministry says 164 people have been killed in protests that have rocked the country over the past week
11:05AM ( 6 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Djokovic's detention becomes political issue in Australia
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has embraced border officials' decision to deny entry to tennis star Novak Djokovic, who had earlier been issued documents allowing him to enter the country ahead of the Australian Open without a COVID-19 vaccine
12:34AM ( 2 days ago )
Djokovic in limbo as he fights deportation from Australia
Locked in a dispute over his COVID-19 vaccination status, Novak Djokovic is confined to an immigration detention hotel in Australia as he awaits a ruling on whether can compete in the Australian Open later this month
8:33PM ( 2 days ago )
EXPLAINER: Why was Novak Djokovic not let into Australia?
Novak Djokovic came within one victory of sweeping all four of last year’s Grand Slam tennis tournaments and entered 2022 needing one title to set the men’s record of 21 major championships
8:02AM ( 3 days ago )
AP Sports - Men's Tennis
Titans clinch AFC's top seed with 28-25 win over Texans
The Tennessee Titans clinched the top seed in the AFC for the first time in 14 years, beating the Houston Texans 28-25 on Sunday behind Ryan Tannehill’s career-high-tying four touchdown passes
5:11PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Commissioners to report on CFP expansion talks to presidents
The administrators who manage the College Football Playoff will report on the progress of expansion talks to a presidential oversight committee on Monday
4:51PM ( 35 minutes ago )
Roethlisberger, Steelers on verge of playoffs after OT win
Ben Roethlisberger delayed his retirement for a few hours and probably longer, guiding Pittsburgh to a 16-13 overtime win over the Baltimore Ravens that left the Steelers on the verge of an improbable playoff berth
4:50PM ( 36 minutes ago )
Jags clown Colts 26-11, keep Indy from making playoffs
The Indianapolis Colts badly botched a chance to secure an AFC wild-card spot by losing at Jacksonville 26-11 in the clown game
4:49PM ( 37 minutes ago )
19 dead, including 9 children, in NYC apartment fire
Nineteen people, including 9 children, have been killed in an apartment fire in New York City in one of the worst blazes in decades
4:41PM ( 45 minutes ago )